Cedarville Rancheria

The Cedarville Rancheria is a federally recognized tribe of Northern Paiute people in Modoc County, California, about 30 miles (48 km) south of the Oregon border.[2] Cedarville Rancheria is 26 acres in Cedarville. The tribal headquarters is located 20 miles away from the Rancheria in Alturas. The tribe has an environmental protection agency that is dedicated to keeping the Rancheria clean and teaching children how to protect and care for the planet.

Cedarville Rancheria
Total population
35 enrolled members,[1]
26 rancheria population (2011)[2]
Regions with significant populations
 United States ( California)
English, Northern Paiute
Related ethnic groups
other Northern Paiute people


The tribe is governed by a community council, which comprises all members over the age of 18. Everyone's voice counts. Melissa Davis, Chairwoman, Richard Lash-ViceChairman, and Brandi Pratt, Secretary are the elected representatives for the Tribe.


The Cedarville Rancheria is a federally recognized ranchería with an area of 20 acres. Founded in 1914, it had six residents on 17 acres in 1990.[3] The 2010 census recorded 13 inhabitants. It is located within the unincorporated community of Cedarville. All tribal citizens are can trace their lineage back to the official census roll dated July 18, 1954. Their first attempt at running a business came to their purchase of what is now the Cedarville Rancheria Public Scales. They also run a mini mart/ truck stop off the highway near the scales.[4][5]


Cedarville Rancheria is a branch of the Northern Paiute. Pre-contact they were adapted to the desert environment that surrounded them and gathering for food was a group effort when it came to hunting and gathering. After contact with Europeans they suffered from infectious deceases such as smallpox and had some of the greatest losses from it.[6]

2014 shooting attack

On February 20, 2014, Cherie Lash Rhoades, the former tribal chairperson (who had been recently ousted and was under federal investigation over at least $50,000 in missing funds), opened fire in the tribe's Alturas office during a tribal eviction meeting. She killed four people and wounded two others. When she ran out of ammunition, she grabbed a butcher knife from the office kitchen and stabbed one other person. Rhoades was attending an eviction hearing at the office (against her and her son) when she began her attack.

Police arrested Rhoades after she ran outside and took her into custody. Those killed included the suspect's brother, 50-year-old Rurik Davis; her niece, 19-year-old Angel Penn; and her nephew, 30-year-old Glenn Calonicco. The fourth person killed was 47-year-old Sheila Lynn Russo, the tribal administrator and mother of two teenagers.[7][8][9]

See also


  1. "Cedarville Rancheria Tribal History." Cedarville Rancheria. 28 June 2012.
  2. "Cedarville Rancheria." SDSU: California Indians and Their Reservations. 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  3. Pritzker 227
  4. "Former Tribal Chairperson on Trial for Murder of Four and Wounding Two". Native News Online. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  5. "Cedarville Rancheria Northern Paiute Tribe". www.citlink.net. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  6. Hopkins, Sarah Winnemucca (1883) [1994]. Fowler, Catherine S., ed. Life Among the Piutes: Their Wrongs And Claims. University of Nevada Press. ISBN 978-0874172522.
  7. Ford, Dana; Hassan, Carma (21 February 2014). "Female suspect in custody after 4 people killed at tribal office". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  8. "4 dead, 2 injured in a shooting at Northern Calif. tribal meeting". Associated Press. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
  9. "Shooting at Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Office Leaves 4 Dead, 2 Critically Injured". Indian Country Today Media. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2014.


  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1

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